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California health insurance  -  California Group health insurance  -  Shopping California Group Health

Shopping California Group health insurance


It's a natural tendency of California companies to see if there is a better option for their group health insurance benefits or to investigate whether they can afford to start offering benefits to their employees.   There are some important considerations to take into account when shopping for coverage.


When to look for group health insurance options


For groups with existing insurance, anniversary month or renewal, which occurs every 12 months following the original effective date, is usually the time the companies start to investigate other options.  The reason is that rate increases are usually applied at this time for the group.  Most companies think that they are on a year contract and this is the time they are allowed to make changes.  Actually, group health insurance is month to month so a company can choose to change to another carrier at any time of the year and there may be some changes allowed within the year if rates change for example. 


Considering plan changes on employees


Group health insurance deductibles and max-out-of-pockets are usually calendar year which means that they reset January 1st.  Based on this, Jan 1st is usually ideal for making changes, especially between carriers, if employees have had sizable medical bills during the year.  Some carriers will allow deductibles/maxes to be carried over for a new group.  If an employee changes plans, they may have a new deductible and max out of pocket.  It's also important to make sure that the employees doctors are in-network with the new health carrier and/or plan.  There is a distinction between HMO and PPO and networks can vary not only between the carriers, but also between these two types of plans.  Each carrier will have differences in terms of how they treat coverage.  This may include pre-authorizations, medication coverage, in or out-of-network benefits and many other aspects of insurance.


How to go about shopping for Group health insurance


Once you have considered the above issues, what about the process of shopping for health insurance?  Probably the best start is to figure out your ideal monthly budget for the company.  If you have no idea, then you may want to proceed to the next step to establish what the range of pricing is.  The monthly budget may be a fixed amount that you cannot go above.  In this case, you just need to stay within this amount.  The next step then is to actually run your California group health insurance quote.  You can run your instant quote or get a quick run through on what to expect.  Once you enter your census information (zip codes, employee ages, and dependent status (single, spouse, child, children, or family) and some general company information, you will receive your instant quote across major California  health carriers.  There are many different plans available.  In fact, there can be too many options.  We created an entire page on how to choose a group health plan.


For California small groups, many companies have looked at Employee Elect with Cross where you can offer all the plans to each employee and establish a fixed company contribution or % contribution (of a certain plan).  This way, you give total choice to the employees but stay within your ideal monthly budget. 


Comparing the various group health options


Again, the number of plans and terminology can be overwhelming.  We strongly recommend that you contact us, a licensed and experience California health insurance agent, to discuss your company's needs and options.  We know the carriers and plans thoroughly.  We also understand the eligibility requirements for California group insurance.  AB 1672 is an important law that offers guaranteed issue coverage for California companies but also has requirements in order to qualify.  Please let us know how we can help.


Related Pages:


Run your California group quote (best rates guaranteed)
Understand how the Group health market works
Current best plans on the Group health Market
How health reform will fundamentally change the group health market